Terence Thompson is a multidisciplinary artist based in New Jersey. He makes mixed media paintings and installation work. He grew up in south Jersey and went to college in Philadelphia at the University of the Arts where he majored in multidisciplinary practices with an emphasis in painting and minored in art education. He loves the art making process, the power of using different fabrics and materials to help convey an idea or message. His work is simply about race, and his only goal for his art besides healing and self expression is to change a mind or two.
My work focuses on the repression of what it actually means to be Black in America today. I started out creating these mobiles that began this conversation of slavery and the education of it at a very young age. The mobiles consisted of depictions of lynchings and wounded figures positioned in a whimsical and childlike environment. This work was made to show the importance of teaching young Black kids of the world they live in, to prepare them. While on the other hand showing the unfairness and adultification of these kids just to protect them.
As my work evolves, so does this yearning for a happy ending, or at least a better off one. It does seem like a never ending battle. One thing I have personally felt has and can help is self exploration and expression. The main symbol I keep coming back to is the black bird: powerful, free, and never looking back. I often use the black bird to express this; breaking free, rising to a higher ground, leaving the bruised and abused shell behind. Ultimately we find our oneness, our strength and beauty in our individuality no matter what the world thinks or does to us. I show this by creating personalized portraits to show the world we’re beautiful and we matter.
When creating my work four things ring dear to me: texture, color, patterns, and found domestic items. I use household items like baking soda, tablecloths, mats, tapes, gift wrap, mops, and napkins. I started using these items because they bring me a sense of home, a sense of my past which is where this all started.
In the end I hope that by growing in our oneness we can value our differences and grow in our togetherness.